Lost Lake Loop offers a little of everything
No one got lost Wednesday night on the singletrack sections that wrap around Lost Lake during the fourth race of the Vail Recreation District’s summer race series.Lost in the serenity – and difficulty – of it all, maybe. But never too far removed from thinking about the finish line heading down from Buffehr Creek onto the North Trail.”It’s one of the coolest trails around,” Men’s Pro-Elite winner Jay Henry said. “It’s fun to ride. It’s got singletrack climbs, singletrack descents. It’s probably the most technical trail around back by Lost Lake.” Men’s single-speed winner, Mike Skellion, who finished right behind second-place and third-place Pro finishers Josiah Middaugh and Mike Kloser said that the Lost Lake race might be his favorite in the six-race series.”I just like super technical courses, and the views up here are amazing,” he said. “It’s just a great venue. We’re real fortunate to have terrain like this in our backyard.”Young gunsThe 11-and-unders and 14-and-unders were the first to push the pedals Wednesday night taking off around 5 to run a 3.2 mile loop on dirt-road and singletrack sections surrounding Buffehr Creek. The 11-and-unders ran the loop once, while the 14-and-unders did two laps. Eleven-year-old Rudi Baldwin of Edwards won the Boy’s race in the younger division with a time of 20 minutes and 17 seconds, beating 9-year-old Thomas Walsh of Avon (20:30:54).
It was Baldwin’s first series win of the summer after mechanical problems forced him out of contention in the 4-Eagle Ranch race in June. “This is my first race on my new bike,” Baldwin said. “It was fun. Half of the course was singletrack. The singletrack was really rocky and there were lots of logs and stuff.”Walsh was happy with his top-3 finish in his fourth try this summer. “I got to pre-ride the course with Vail Mountain Bike Camps,” Walsh said. “This is the first time I placed. I’m pretty excited.”Ten-year-old Kelly Cassidy of Eagle won the girls 11-and-under race easily, finishing among the top-10 boys finishers to cross the line. She said the most technical part of the dicey singletrack section was a log in the middle of the trail.”It was too tall to ride over. You had to walk over that,” Cassidy said. “I was pretty much racing my own race. I think I’m just a good all-around rider.”In the 14-and-under ranks, J.T. Schmitt was the first across the line, finishing in 34:04:02. Schmitt shaved nearly six minutes off his second-lap time, after running the first lap in just less than 20 minutes. “I made up my time on the uphill. I was pushing it more,” Schmitt said. “On the downhill, I was just letting it go. I just wasn’t too sure about the course, so I was saving my energy on the first lap.”Men’s and women’s beginners
Woody Jones of Edwards was the first adult from the Beginner ranks to cross the finish line, edging out Kevin Roop of Edwards by 38 seconds with a time of 1:03:03.Jones said the early climb up the dirt section of Red Sandstone Road wasn’t the most enjoyable experience, but added that the singletrack section around Lost Lake quickly made one forget the strenuous ascent.”The singletrack was just a bunch of fun,” Jones said. “Up and down and all over the place. I didn’t have any idea how long the climb was going to be. I came out beforehand and I rode the wrong section. I was kind of blind, I would say, on the last three-quarters of it.”Roop, who has notched two seconds and one first in the previous three races, said that he never lost track of Jones on the way up the road, but never had enough oomph to reel him in.”He was in my sights, I was just tired today,” Roop said. “He smoked me. I weigh too much. He’s a skinny guy and he smoked me on the climb. He set the pace and I tried to keep up with him.”In the women’s beginner race Julie Spinnato picked up her first win of the series.Well, sort of. Holly Horvath finished a couple a feet ahead of the Team Beaver Creek rider, but was never given an official time because she showed up too late for registration and never got a bib number. “My car broke down and I didn’t get here early enough,” Horvath said. She’s the winner.”
Spinnato took the win win stride after starting out the race in last place before reeling in the rest of the women’s field on her way up Red Sandstone Road.”At Davo’s (Dash) I didn’t do very good with the climb because it’s a shorter climb,” Spinnato said. “I think because it was a longer climb, I did better. I think a lot of people broke away in the beginning, and I stayed in the back and just took my time and had my own race.”Junior winnerAfter two second place finishes in the previous three races, 14-year-old Brennan Stege of Edwards was enjoying his time in the spotlight after winning the Juniors division (15-18 years) Wednesday. “It feels pretty good,” Stege said. “Before, everyone else was beating me. Now, I finally beat them. I got ahead of them on the uphill, and I’m pretty good on the downhill. It was a pretty good race for me.”Check back for complete results when they become available.Contact Nate Peterson at 949-0555, ext. 608, or via e-mail at email@example.com